ALTHOUGH dengue cases are on an upward trend nationwide, the number of cases is down in Selangor.
According to Selangor Health Department, 28,038 dengue cases were recorded between January and June 10 last year but this number has dropped to 23,576 in the corresponding period this year.
The number of fatalities has also fallen to 36 from 44 during the same period
A check with the State’s health department further showed that the total number of dengue cases in Malaysia totalled to 57,782 last year and dropped to 49,726 this year.
Department director Datuk Dr Zailan Adnan pointed out that Selangor had the largest population in the country with most living in dense, urban areas.
“Looking at the numbers alone would not describe the severity of the situation accurately,” she said when contacted.
She added that if the figures were compared to per 100,000 of the population, then Selangor as a state was somewhere in the middle of the dengue statistics.
Most of the districts with the largest number of cases, namely Klang, Petaling and Gombak, have seen a decrease in numbers.
The only exception is Hulu Langat.
The biggest decrease was in the Pealing District from 11,878 to 7,448 (see chart).
To keep dengue in check, the department has engaged third-party pest control operators to help out in fogging and larvaciding activities.
“However, we encountered some technical difficulties and the activities had to be stopped temporarily.
“During this period, the number of cases increased and this shows how dependent the public is on us to carry out search-and-destroy activities,” said Dr Zailan.
During the rainy season between mid-May and early June, Selangor recorded an increase in dengue cases compared to the same period last year.
Not taking things easy
Selangor Health, Welfare, Women and Family Affairs Committee chairman Dr Daroyah Alwi said the state was working hard to bring down the number of dengue cases.
“All local councils are carrying out search-and-destroy activities and this is working as the number has gone down compared to the previous year,” she said.
The search-and-destroy activities are also being conducted at high-rise buildings.
“From experience, we realise that most of the breeding grounds are in hard-to-find places such as roof gutters, aquariums and even water tanks,” she said.
The state is also equipping public transportation vehicles like buses with aerosol sprays through a programme which was launched at the Klang Sentral station.
“It is compulsory for bus operators to spray the bus with insecticide aerosol at dawn before starting their shift.
“This is very important because Aedes mosquitoes can also enter vehicles whenever the windows or doors are opened,” she said.
Schoolbus operators will have to spray their vehicles with aerosol before picking up students in the morning.
Dr Daroyah urged residents to make it a habit to use aerosol in their homes when Aedes mosquitoes were most active, namely at dusk and dawn.
The state will begin another campaign to educate the public on this.
“They need to protect themselves too as there is only so much the authorities can do,” she said.